My yearly visits to the torture device, also known as the mammogram, started in 1998 when my right breast began to leak fluid due to a ruptured mammary duct.
That diagnosis cam by way of a general surgeon after visiting a “breast specialist” who, after administering a breast ultrasound told me “Oh, that’s normal.” Good thing I sought out a second opinion.
Never accept a doctor’s word at face value when you know in your heart of hearts that what he/she is saying does not ring true. Do not be afraid to seek out a second, or third, opinion. Be your own advocate!!
During a self breast exam in 2003, I discovered a lump. A mammogram, ultra sound, biopsy, and eventual lump removal revealed there was no cancer. All was good and the torture device visits continued.
Sitting in a meeting at work about 12 days ago (a Tuesday) my upper right arm grazed my breast when I reached for something on the conference room table. I winced from the pain and tenderness and my first thought was “What was that?”
Immediately after the meeting I called to schedule an appointment for a mammogram. (The yearly visit was last August.)
Thursday morning found me at the Cobb Women’s Imaging Center for a mammogram and a breast ultrasound.
There are no words to accurately describe the anxiety. I barely ate and had a headache that laughed at the Tylenol I ingested. Despite trying to remain positive the internal dialogue could not be quieted.
What if it is cancer? How will we decide to treat it? Is it early enough that I won’t lose my breast? Chemotherapy? I’ll lose my hair!! Just when I decided to let it grow out again. I rocked a natural look surely I could rock the bald look too. If it is cancer, they’ll just have to remove the lump ASAP and I will start chemo after I return from Thailand in March.
Then there was the Monday afternoon appointment with the surgeon.
Tuesday -Hit auto-replay and shuffle on internal dialogue.
Thursday – Hit auto-replay and shuffle on internal dialogue.
The call came from the doctor’s office on Friday. It is not cancer.
OH HAPPY DAY!
I am forever grateful to the universe and will continue my monthly breast exams and my annual mammogram. If you’re a woman over 40, you should do the same.
If you’re a woman under 40, or a man (YES. MEN, you can get breast cancer too!), self breast exams are a must. Learn to do them correctly!
Visit the following links for more information on mammograms and self breast exams for men and women!
Here’s to happy healthy breasts!!!